Rail interest to the east of Birmingham
Cadley Hill to Corby
This was a day out exploring railway interest to the east of
Birmingham. We started at Cadley Hill colliery, a wonderful
place where one could just turn up and sign the indemnity
book in order to view steam in action. Sadly, on this day the
"Austerity" saddle tank "Cadley Hill No 1" had failed, and its
duties were being administered by one of the resident
diesels, Sentinel 0-6-0DH no 10055 of 1961. This locomotive
was in fact older than two of the resident steamers - Cadley
Hill No 1 was built in 1962, and no 65 (the yellow one, behind
red "Swiftsure" - HE 2857 of 1943) was one of the last
standard gauge locomotives built in the UK, being HE 3889 of
1964. The pit manager here was a bit of steam enthusiast -
steam lasted here long after it had gone elsewhere.
We moved on to Castle Donnington power station, to have a look
at their steam locomotives. Resident here were a couple of
Barclay 0-4-0 diesels, built in 1957, and a pair of RSHN 0-4-0
saddle tanks, built in 1954. Nothing was happening at all here,
so we took a couple of photos and moved on. No 2, in the
picture, is RSHN 7818. The steamers here were, in effect,
preserved in full working order, and No 1 (RSHN 7817) lives at
the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley.
We headed eastwards now, to take in some of
the current BR scene at Langham Junction, near
Oakham on the Leicester - Peterborough line.
Here we were rewarded with some interesting
action - firstly the class 47 on a freight, followed
by "Peak" 44007 (unfortunately running light), and
lastly 56 062 on a freight. I think this was the
first class 56 I'd seen - certainly it's my oldest
photo of one.
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
Not far from Langham Junction is Cottesmore, home to the
Rutland Railway Museum. Originally established by the Market
Overton Industrial Railway Association, this project is based
around the preservation of ex-industrial locomotives (this page is
getting a distinctly industrial flavour....). Once again, there was
nothing working, but we were invited to take a look around. The
locomotives illustrated are a "Planet" diesel (F Hibberd 3887 of
1958) and "Coal Products No 6", Hunslet 2868 of 1943, rebuilt
(3883) in 1963. There are around 40 locomotives here currently.
A little further south now, to Wansford for a peep
at the Nene Valley Railway. Working the service
today was 73050 "City of Peterborough", while the
variety of locomotives on site gave us scope for
some more photography. The locomotives
depicted are "Frank", a curious "Planet" (Hibberd
2894 of 1944) and the rather pretty no 656, a
Danish 0-6-0 tank built by Frichs in 1949.
Time to begin our homeward journey now, via Corby, where the
ironstone railways had recently ceased to operate. We took at
look at the former depot at Gretton Brook, where we were
greeted by the sight of lines of disused locomotives. Virtually all
of these were ex-BR Paxmans, originally numbered in the D95xx
series. A stranger in their midst was the rather fine Yorkshire
Engine Co 0-8-0 diesel hydraulic, no 2894 of 1962. No 59, seen
beside it, was formerly D9552, and on the other side is 65,
formerly D9503. All were scrapped within a couple of years.
Rutland Railway Museum is now Rocks by Rail
Nene Valley Railway
More Cadley Hill photos on "Specials"
21 August 1980